Webpage in Chrome won’t print in color on Brother MFC-9120CN

February 23, 2015

This information applies to Brother MFC-9120CN printers and Google Chrome, and a situation where no matter how many times you select to print in color via Chrome, the webpage only prints in black and white.

After some experimenting I figured out why my pages wouldn’t print in color.

I have my printer set to print in ‘mono’ (black and white/grayscale) by default to save on using expensive color cartridges when they aren’t required for many print jobs. If I need to print in color, I change that setting in the printer properties. But in Google Chrome, you can’t access your printer’s properties — you have to use the Chrome settings. No matter how many times I chose ‘Color’ in Chrome, the printout would be in black and white. The same webpage would print in color from Firefox and Internet Explorer, so I figured it was something that Chrome was doing.

But it was actually the printer that was dictating how the webpage would print — its ‘mono’ setting was overriding the ‘Color’ setting in Chrome.

Once I changed the printer default to ‘auto’, rebooted the printer, and rebooted my PC (just to make sure), and did another test print of a webpage from Chrome, the ‘Color’ option in Chrome and the ‘auto’ setting on the printer played nice together and I got a color printout.

As a further test, I kept the printer default set to ‘auto’ and selected the ‘Black and White’ option in Chrome… the webpage printed in color, completely ignoring my selection in Chrome. So my printer settings are overriding whatever I select in Chrome.

In summary:

  • If the default color setting for printer is set to mono, then choosing ‘Color’ in Chrome prints the page in grayscale (the ‘Black and White’ setting in Chrome appears to work, but as the printer is set to mono, that’s to be expected)
  • If the default color setting for printer is set to auto, then choosing ‘Black and White’ in Chrome prints the page in grayscale (‘Color’ setting in Chrome appears to work, but as the printer is set to auto, that’s to be expected)

At least I now know why.

Update later the same day: I had put in a support request to Brother on this late last week, but initially they denied it was an issue. After I did my tests and told them what I did, they’ve now confirmed they can replicate it. The support person at Brother also gave me this information:

I have also come across this link with people experiencing the same issue with other brands of printers as well: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/trn2QbAGjxI

I have found that when using the standard PCL driver, the setting will not work.

You can either use the Windows Printer Dialogue box by pressing Ctrl + Shift + P to print. This will allow you to change the setting through the driver.

Or, you can download and install the Br Script driver and use it when printing from Chrome: http://support.brother.com/g/b/downloadend.aspx?c=au&lang=en&prod=mfc9120cn_all&os=93&dlid=dlf004795_000&flang=4&type3=414

[Links last checked February 2015]


  1. In chrome, when you print, there is an option to ‘Print using the system dialog’ – I would think that this would allow you to over ride the printer colour option correctly

  2. Not that I can see, Simon.

    Even with More Settings showing on the Print panel I get after pressing Ctrl+P, I only get options to change destination (printer; none of these has any options), select which pages to print, set number of copies, change layout, change color, change paper size, change margins, and check boxes for printing headers/footers, two-sided, and background graphics.

    I also checked my general settings in Chrome and could only see settings for cloud printing. Yes, I’m using the most recent version of Chrome (updated on Friday).

    Am I doing something wrong?

  3. On mine – underneath the ‘More Settings’ section is a link that say ‘Print using system dialog’. The shortcut key is ctrl+shift+p. This changes to print using the system printer dialog, which should be better at pushing the settings to the printer.

  4. Nope. Don’t have that setting. And Ctrl+Shift+P brings up a SnagIt dialog for me ;-) When I killed the SnagIt dialog and told SnagIt to use the PrintScreen key, Ctrl+Shift+P did nothing. I’ll try restarting Chrome…

  5. And restarting Chrome worked! I can now do Ctrl+Shift+P and get the printer dialog! Thanks Simon!!!!

  6. Oh, Rhonda – “…play nice…” – surely that should be “play niceLY”?!!!

    Long may the adverb keep its place in our language and hold its own against the oncoming forces of darkness, replacing adverbs with adjectives. Sadly, these forces now include the ABC: which venerable organisation has sunk to a level where you can now hear “gotten” on the evening news!

  7. I think ‘play nice’ comes into the same category as ‘[you] smell nice’, or ‘be nice’, or even ‘[the food] tastes nice’, none of which could be substituted with ‘nicely’. It’s one of those slippery words that changes depending on where it’s positioned in a sentence. And yes, when I wrote that sentence I tossed up as to whether to use ‘nice’ or ‘nicely’ ;-) I decided on ‘nice’ as most (70+%) of my readership is from the US, and I believe it’s more commonly used there.

  8. I confirm the problem on Canon printers with Chrome.

    Solution: Chrome sees 3 classes of the same printer on my Windows 7 system. It prefers to use the cloud version of my Canon printer. Most options are turned off on that selection.

    The other two classes are the locally connected printers, one of which is an XPS version that Windows setup by default. Chrome provides an option for B&W or Color for these two printers.

    I also have these printer classes setup for Chrome Cloud printing. The B&W or Color option is available for them.

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